Dodge Nature Center

Mission Statement

Providing exceptional experiences in nature through environmental education.

Impact and Programs

Accomplishments The past four years have been a time of transformation, innovation, and growth as Dodge continued to adapt and thrive despite embarking on an expansion during the challenging times of the pandemic. Our commitment to delivering exceptional experiences in the natural world remains steadfast, and we are more determined than ever to carry this mission forward into the future. In 2023, Dodge finished the Nourishing Everyone’s Need for Nature Comprehensive Campaign. This Campaign focused on three vital areas of access, sustainability, and legacy. Funds raised allowed us to provide new opportunities for nature-based programming for thousands of diverse visitors, improve green practices and preserve our historic buildings and natural spaces, and grow the legacy of our founder. Increasing access included new programs for the LGBTQIA+ community, STEM after-school programs for middle school girls, and guided hikes for Spanish speakers. Sustainability efforts included hiring a dedicated Restoration Specialist, renovating historic buildings to create functional classroom and program space, and restoring 40acres of native prairie. Endowed funds raised during the Campaign help ensure Dodge’s legacy extends to the next 50 years and beyond. With the launch of our newest property, Shepard Farm in Cottage Grove, Dodge began a new partnership with South Washington County Schools to deliver environmental education that meets academic standards.
Current Goals Dodge has a new strategic plan that charts the course ahead and rests on the pillars of Sustainability, Access, Legacy, and Relationships. Under the Sustainability Pillar, we pledge to protect our resources today and for generations to come. Our focus includes gaining a deeper understanding of revenue sources and setting clear goals. Immediate actions involve redesigning our Preschool playscape to foster a closer connection with nature and enhance our relationship with the land. Within the Access Pillar, we commit to identifying, reducing, and eliminating barriers to ensure universal access to Dodge. Our endeavors involve expanding our Shepard Farm property in Cottage Grove through intentional programming and community outreach. Our commitment extends to fostering inclusivity for participants with physical limitations, communities of color, and LGBTQIA+ youth and adults. The Legacy Pillar is dedicated to building upon our environmental education legacy. Initiatives include developing a plan for managing our four properties, enhancing the self-guided visitor experience, and implementing a data collection process. Finalizing our brand and reputation management strategy is anticipated in2025. The foundation of all these pillars is the Relationships Pillar, emphasizing the connections that align with our values. We are actively growing our relationship with South Washington County schools, the sixth largest school district in Minnesota. Our commitment also extends to ensuring Dodge remains an exceptional workplace.
Community or Constituency Served Dodge Nature Center and Preschool serves children and adults of all ages, including preschoolers, school-aged children, teens, college students, parents, non-parents, and seniors.
Geographic Area Served Dodge Nature Center and Preschool serves participants from all over the Twin Cities metro area. About 70% of the students are from Dakota, Ramsey, and Washington counties in Minnesota.

Reports & Finances

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Major Program Expenses
Environmental Education:
Management and General:
3 Year Average Expenses
Program Services
Unrestricted Net Assets
End of Year:
Beginning of Year:

Notes from the Council

Organization Last Reviewed on 03/04/2024

This date is representative of when we completed our initial Accountability Wizard® nonprofit review, and provided the organization with their results. This review is good for three years from the date provided
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365 Marie Avenue W
West St. Paul, MN 55118
Phone: 651-455-4531

General Information

Alternative Name: Thomas Irvine Dodge Nature Center, Dodge Nature Center and Preschool
EIN: 41-6081794
Principal Staff: Jason Sanders
Number of Full-Time Equivalents (FTE): 40
Volunteer Opportunities: Yes
Number of Clients: 60000
Ruling Year: 1967


Board Chair: Sara Beckstrand
Number of Board Members: 24
Board Meetings with Quorum: 8
Average Member Attendance: 19.8

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1915 Highway 36 W Ste 133 • Roseville, Minnesota 55113-2709
Phone: (651) 224–7030 • E-mail:

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